What does it mean to live life with “pure abandon”? When I look at this picture that I took last fall of my niece, I have a pretty good idea. She lives life to the fullest. She chases after what she wants. She dresses in what makes her little heart happy. She laughs freely, loves fully and cries when she is hurt. She lives without inhibitions and I want to learn from her.
I’m not saying that I think my niece is perfect or that I want to revert to the ways of a 3 1/2 year old; that would be madness. But what I am saying is that we can learn a lot about the fullness of life and joy by looking at children.
Too often, my days become bogged down by worries and they alter the choices I make:
- What should I wear? I don’t have anything I feel confident in, so I’d rather stay home.
- What will people think of me? I should just be seen and not heard, that way no one can have a conflict with me.
- What if I get sick from the food I eat? I should stop going out to dinner or eating at people’s houses.
- What if I look funny? I should stay on the sidelines of the game, wedding, etc.
Do children ponder such things? Why do I?
When I do this, I am robbing myself of joy. I am living life only in the smallest way, which in turn makes me feel down. But more importantly, what I’ve been realizing is that God did not create me to just get through life. He created me to thrive, to rejoice, to laugh, to delight. Am I honoring Him when I live in fear? It’s a tough question for me because in all honesty, I’ve lived most of my life in fear. And even though I know the answer, I struggle with giving it over to God and asking Him to free me from my fears.
Even as I write this, I feel my mouth going dry and my stomach dropping, because I know that by putting this out there, I am making myself accountable. It isn’t easy or comfortable. But I know that the reward will be worth it.
I want to live a life of pure abandon. Will you join me?